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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Celebrating Christmas in Italy

christmas 2007Image by paparutzi via FlickrCelebrating Christmas in <a class="zem_slink" href=",12.4833333333&spn=10.0,10.0&q=41.9,12.4833333333%20%28Italy%29&t=h" title="Italy" rel="geolocation">Italy</a>
By Pollux Parker

The Christmas in Italy is celebrated in a different manner as compared to other countries. The Italian Christmas season in Italy lasts not only for a day but for a total of three weeks and it always begin with a novena.
The Novena is observed eight days before the 25th of December. It is a fun filled period that celebrated with beautiful music and laughter. Traditionally, the Novena period is observed by groups of young musicians, equipped with their musical instruments, going around their neighborhood and singing Christmas songs and reciting poems for Christmas. Musicians can also choose to be in a shepherd's clothes. They would often perform at different houses in their neighborhood and after their performance; they would be given monetary gifts.

In addition, all the important Christmas preparations are made during the Novena period. Almost all Christian households display their own Nativity Scenes, a tradition that started in Italy. Christians would also participate in designing the best and decorated Nativity scenes by using woods to create a pyramidal setting that stands several feet high and called as "Ceppo." At the top of that scene, they would place the "Presepio" or manger. Various skillfully and detailed human and animal figures can be seen in a Nativity Scene. The goal of the pyramid is to make it as attractive as possible.
In Rome, the Christmas season officially starts by firing of cannon from the Castel St. Agnelo on December 24. One day before the Christmas Eve, Italians observed a strict fasting. On the Christmas Day itself, Italians would often prepare Amaretti, Spaghetti, Tortellini, Anchovies, Panetoni, and various types of chocolates to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Pollux Parker is an adventurer who loves discovering secret island getaways in each country he visits. Pollux also likes to collect Italian flag and buy Italian flag for sale.

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